Imagine walking through your landscape and having a deep familiarity with all the species you encounter. You feel a kinship with all of them and can understand their unique ecology and the stories of their lives present. This program is designed to familiarize participants, in a generalist way, to all the local species we may encounter while walking through our local woods. An impressive task, as well as a deeply important one for cultivating ecologically literate stewards of the land.
This is a 7 month program that gathers one weekend a month. Each weekend has a focused theme that we will dive into. There will no doubt be themes that cross over, and other local natural phenomena that will be explored. We will use didactic teaching as well as other teaching styles to engage our senses, and deepen our understanding in creative ways.
Our goal is that you leave this program with an intimate knowledge and relationship to the various flora and fauna of southern Québec. That you can identify and understand most species you encounter, and that you easily know how to figure out those you aren’t familiar with yet. That you are paying deeper attention to the stories and changes in the land around you wherever you go.
The program will take place from Saturday 9am to Sunday 2pm on the following days:
- March 26th-27th: Mammals and Tracking
- April 23rd-24th: Trees, plants and birds, Part I
- May 14th-15th: Trees, plants and birds, Part II
- June 25th-26th: Insects, reptiles and amphibians
- July 23rd-24th: Plants
- August: Off
- September 24th-25th: Mushrooms and Lichens
- October 22nd-23rd: Independant project presentations and Field Exam
On a friends’ private property 7 minutes from Montebello in Papineauville. The land has 400 acres and includes various ecosystems that offer unique learning opportunities. There’s a river, a spring fed stream, hardwood forests,
conifer forests, fields, an old quarry, swamps, and mountains.
1120 + tx
.What are the camping conditions like?
This course is for people who have experience camping through the seasons, or who are willing to learn on their own about these topics. Be prepared to be autonomous for sleeping and eating outdoors in camping conditions, throughout the year. The facilities include a rustic campground in the woods- composting toilets, a few fire pits for cooking, and several large tarps set up in case of rain. We will be 150 meters from the parking area so be prepared to hike your camping gear in, and we’ll never be too far from the cars if you need to go back to get something.
March camping conditions will be more challenging than the others because of the cold. There will be limited access to indoor space in a nearby chalet for a number of people who need to sleep indoors, as well as one or two heated prospector tents where people can sleep. Otherwise you will be in your tent or a shelter in the snow. We will have extra sleeping bags and wool blankets if anyone needs as well.
Steve Leckman and Patrick Gravel will be teaching as well as special guests.
What’s October all about?
Part of the weekend will be presentations of independent study topics, the other part will be an exam. Participants are encouraged to pick an independent study topic to research and present to the group for at least 5 minutes.
- Describing the ecology of muskrat dens
- Presenting a certain kind of mushroom
- Discussing an experiment you conducted on the way tracks age
- Talking about your attempts to sneak up and touch a deer
- Analyzing the results of bird observations at your bird feeder
The exam will consist of walking across the land, and being asked questions about ecology, identification of species, and track and sign interpretation.
A welcome package will be sent a week before the first day of the program with specific details.
Contact us if you have any questions or comments at: email@example.com